the Week of Proper 21 / Ordinary 26
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“We have peace with God.”
We shall read at this time a short but very precious portion, in which Paul writes of the high privileges and perfect security of believers.
Faith lays hold upon the righteousness of Jesus, and so makes us just before the Lord, and this brings a heavenly peace into the soul. No self-confidence can ever do this. Our own good works are faulty, and can neither make peace for us nor work peace in us. What a joy it is to be just before God, because “accepted in the Beloved!” No wonder that the man who is so favoured enjoys peace of soul.
Being at perfect peace with God we are enabled to approach him, and in his presence we obtain a fulness of joy. Do we know anything about this? Let us answer this question each one of us for himself.
Whatever privileges we enjoy, there are more to follow, and we may add, “and not only so.” We come at length to find joy even in our sorrows, since they work our spiritual good.
Romans 5:4 , Romans 5:5
See how one fair stone is piled upon another, course upon course of priceless jewels; a heavenly character is built up like the very temple of God, and then the love of God comes into it like the divine glory into the holy place, and lights it all up with a celestial splendour. Happy believer to be thus endowed with all the wealth of heaven!
This is a rich gospel verse in which every word drops fatness. We were powerless, but Jesus came to us, came at the right time, came to die for us, to die for us as godless beings, who had no merit and no fitness for his astounding love. Surely, we must praise him for this, or the very stones will cry out.
Romans 5:7 , Romans 5:8
good or benevolent
Romans 5:7 , Romans 5:8
We were neither righteous nor merciful, we had no claim upon divine love, yet the Lord did all that even infinite love could do, he died for us while we were yet rebels and enemies. Was ever love like this?
When we were enemies he died for us: will he now forsake us, and pour his wrath upon us? Impossible.
When we were sinners he justified us, will he now leave us? He reconciled us when we were enemies, will he not save us now that we are his friends? If his death has done so much, what will not his life do? The threefold argument is overwhelming; he cannot, he will not now suffer us to perish. His wrath is turned away, and his love is settled upon us for eternity, if we have believed in Jesus. Have we so believed? There is the great point.
God himself is now our joy. We dreaded him once, but we do so no more. We are at one with him through Jesus, and the love of God is now the overflowing fountain of joy to us. Again let us each one ask, Is it so with me? Parents, children, servants, is it so with you?
Firm as the earth thy gospel stands,
My Lord, my hope, my trust;
If I am found in Jesus’ hands,
My soul can ne’er be lost.
His honour is engaged to save
The meanest of his sheep;
All that his heavenly Father gave
His hands securely keep.
Nor death, nor hell, shall e’er remove
His favourites from his breast;
In the dear bosom of his love
They must for ever rest,
“Our old man is crucified with Him.”
Because salvation is all of grace shall we plunge into yet more sin? Some of the children of darkness have been vile enough to reason thus: shall the believer adopt the same base argument?
We are new men and cannot delight in sin. Our nature has undergone a change which has made the argument just mentioned most abhorrent to us. We are dead to sin, and have made an open declaration thereof in our baptism: we should be base indeed if we lived to sin as we once did.
We are one with Jesus, being both dead with him, and risen in him; ours therefore it is to live the new life, and view ourselves as dead to all the sinful joys of our former lives. Oh for grace to carry this out to the full.
Romans 6:12 , Romans 6:13
We cannot obey our old tyrant, sin: as citizens of a new kingdom, we must serve our glorious Monarch.
Being under the law, it cursed you for your iniquity, and in return you transgressed the more; but now eternal love has set you free, and you cannot become again the slaves of sin.
If indeed we did run into evil because we believed in free grace, it would show that we were still the servants of sin, and not under grace at all.
How true is this! We served a bad master for bad wages: shall we not with far greater zeal devote ourselves to the delightful service of our Redeemer?
Romans 6:22 , Romans 6:23
Now we do not work for wages: every good thing comes to us as a free gift; therefore let gratitude move us to obedience, and constrain us to be in all things holy before the Lord. Self-interest makes the legalist work; gratitude for eternal love shall be a far stronger force in our hearts, and by the Holy Spirit’s help we will abound in good works because grace abounds.